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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 04:33 GMT
Milosevic to be buried in Serbia
Roses are laid on a photo showing Slobodan Milosevic in front of his Socialist party headquarters in Belgrade
Slobodan Milosevic still has many supporters in Serbia
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic will be buried in Serbia, his family has said, ending speculation about his final resting place.

Mr Milosevic's legal adviser told reporters the family would hold the funeral in Belgrade, where his remains are due to arrive on Wednesday.

The body was released by the war crimes tribunal at The Hague on Tuesday, three days after Mr Milosevic died.

His family earlier accused Belgrade of trying to block a burial in Serbia.

The former president, who led Serbia through the Balkan wars of the 1990s, died of a heart attack in his cell, aged 64.

Family lawyer Zdenko Tomanovic told reporters in The Hague that Mr Milosevic's son, Marko, had informed the tribunal of the decision to send his father's body to Belgrade.

This [burial in Serbia] would be only natural for a man who had led the country for such a long period
Milorad Vucelic
Serbian Socialist party vice-president
The date of the funeral has not been set.

The announcement was confirmed in Belgrade by officials of Mr Milosevic's Socialist Party.

Milorad Vucelic, a long-standing friend of the former president and now party vice-president, told the BBC that a burial in Serbia would "be only natural for a man who had led the country for such a long period".

Since the death of Mr Milosevic, negotiations have been under way between party officials and Belgrade City Council.

The first plot proposed by the council was inappropriate, according to party officials.

They have demanded an area suitable for a large funeral and accessible to well-wishers to the grave in the future.


The announcement also follows wrangling between the Serbian authorities and the former president's relatives.

Reaction on Belgrade's streets

Marko Milosevic - who flew to The Hague from Moscow to collect the body - had been pushing for a burial in Serbia and had accused the authorities of trying to prevent it.

Marko, who believes his father was murdered, had earlier said he might consider a funeral in Moscow if his mother's safety could not be guaranteed in Serbia.

Mr Milosevic's widow, Mira Markovic, has been living in self-imposed exile in Russia, fearing arrest on fraud charges if she returns to Serbia.

But Tuesday's decision by a Belgrade court to suspend an arrest warrant against her means she could now potentially attend a funeral in the Serbian capital.

The court has, however, said that she must surrender her passport on arrival and appear before a judge in connection with the fraud charges on 23 March.

Lawyers have posted a bond worth $18,000 (10,000) to guarantee her appearance in court to face relatively minor corruption charges.

Drug traces

Police also want to question her about the assassination in 2000 of former Serbian president Ivan Stambolic - a political rival of her late husband.

Milosevic's lawyer Zdenko Tomanovic and son Marko, at the morgue in The Hague
Slobodan Milosevic's lawyer (left) and his son attended his autopsy
Marko claimed his father's remains after an autopsy was carried out on Tuesday afternoon. They were then taken to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

Full results are awaited, but a toxicologist who found traces of drugs in Mr Milosevic's blood two weeks before his death said they may have neutralised treatment for his heart conditions.

The findings have not been confirmed, but have raised questions over what caused Mr Milosevic's heart attack.

The international war crimes tribunal said Milosevic received competent medical supervision.

Slobodan Milosevic's son talks about his father's burial


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